How far should a Formula 1 team go to keep its star driver happy? In the case of Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda seems to feel that extraordinary fuel is needed to keep the fire between them burning.
Instead of suiting up for F1's most prestigious race - the Monaco Grand Prix - on May 28, Alonso will instead contest the Indianapolis 500 with Honda-engined IndyCar team Andretti Autosport. This has McLaren's full blessing. In fact, McLaren's new executive director Zak Brown helped negotiate the deal, and the car will run as a McLaren entry in an orange livery.
"Everybody has got his own tricks when you have to negotiate a contract," said McLaren racing director Eric Boullier in Bahrain, hinting that Alonso's Indy 500 deal is part of a wider strategy to ensure Alonso remains with McLaren-Honda beyond 2017.